According to Paulo Freire's "Pedagogy of the Oppressed", "the revolution is made neither by the leaders for the people, nor by the people for the leaders, but by both acting together in unshakable solidarity. This solidarity is born only when the leaders witness to it by their humble, loving, and courageous encounter with the people. Not all men have sufficient courage for this encounter, but when men avoid encounter they become inflexible and treat others as mere objects; instead of nurturing life, they kill life; instead of searching for life, they flee from it. And these are the oppressor characteristics."
In my ordinary perspective, solidarity is the most dreaded ultimate force against the oppressor. It births synergy, canopied the weak and strong, defining a purposeful and desirous path of a fair and just society. When solidarity becomes the norm, an ideal society of equal right triumph. The converse is true of a society, where everyone is on their own. This philosophical teachings on society is important in several respects.
First, if you watch the oppression of another man yet find comfort in silence, you would obviously suffer a similar fate alone when it comes to your turn. This is because, what fuels oppression is the inexistence of solidarity.
Martin Niemoller's statement "First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me" also, clearly, encapsulates the vital role of solidarity. Society must therefore, in unison, join voices and forces to rise up against what does not inure to the benefit of society. Of course, oppressors or self-seeking leaders would always want to use the "divide and rule" tactics to have their way, but a more conscious society, which strives to protect its ideals, values and principles, can easily decipher and act with alacrity.
For those who love democracy, you must necessarily have interest in speaking for those whose rights are denied or trampled. It is the way to create a fair and just society, the encompassing feature of a triumphing democratic dispensation. To me, this is what is virtually lacking in Ghana. We are so much drowned in partisanship that we are bold to, at all cost, protecting our partisan interest than our democratic credentials. We do forget, quite unfortunately, that our partisan interests is subservient to our democracy.
To wit, democracy is the mother of political parties and we can't just kill the mother because we love the child.
It is also observed, that we engage in seasonal advocacy on issues that require continuous effort. In the 2020 elections for instance, citizens were killed by state security forces before the election results were declared in favour of the current president. The president even failed to make a comment to condole the families of the bereaved. As I write, I am not sure justice has been served on the matter but voices of conscience are loudly silent.
How about the people of SALL ( Santrofi, Akpafu, Like, and Lolobi) who were denied their right of representation in parliament? How do we treat some citizens with flagrant disregard to democratic values and fairness? I wrote an article after the 2020 election, advocating for the need to treat the SALL people with fairness. See https://www.modernghana.com/news/1065024/what-about-the-people-of-sall.html
After the 2020 elections, almost everybody including the opposition has been silent over the matter. We are almost in 2024 and we shall have another national election, yet we have not gotten a clear assurance of the issue being resolved. I think all stakeholders must be interested in discussing the matter and urging the Electoral Commission to ensure that a logical conclusion on the matter is reached. We do not have to wait till it is late.
The EC promised Ghanaians in March 2023, that it was working with the Attorney General to create the constituency but there has not been any update since. We cannot just sit aloof and trust that the EC will act in the interest of the citizens when it was the same EC that connived with the government to deny their people what is theirs. Many of us believed that it was part of a deliberate gerrymandering tactics executed in favour of the ruling Government. Subsequent actions and inactions of the EC have confirmed this perception. To depart from such perceptions among citizens, the Electoral Body must recognize, that it is a constitutionally mandated body established to serve the people of Ghana in the advancement of democracy, and not to serve the interest of political desperados. When our democracy suffers, everyone suffers! We must do all we can to sustain our democracy. The death of our democracy, is the birth of a society devoid of equality, fairness and justice. We must not be oblivious of this fact!
Let's stand for, and with each other!
I extend solidarity to the people of the Volta Region and many other Ghanaians, whose livelihood has been grounded as a result of the spillage of the Akosombo Dam.
The Village Boy From DBI